Anusuriya Devaraju

Institute for Geoinformatics
University of Muenster
Weseler Str. 253
D-48151 Muenster, Germany.
Fax: +49251833976
Tel: +492518333063

IRTG Research Initiative : Semantic Mediation Across Communities and Sensors
Research Title : Relating Sensor Observations to Gepgraphical Occurrences
Supervisor : Prof Dr Werner Kuhn

The key to improve the understanding of geographic occurrences is to capture the space-time interactions of geographic occurrences and properties observed by sensors. However, their relations are not easily captured due to two main factors. First, a formal theory of geographic occurrences is required. The theory provides a vocabulary that can be used to describe the geographic occurrences not only in terms of properties observed by sensors, but also with their relations to other occurrences and participating geographic features. For example, a blizzard occurrence over certain provinces is specified by a set of weather properties (e.g. visibility, wind speed) and weather occurrences (e.g. blowing snow, falling snow). Second, large amounts of sensor data can be made available via open specifications such as the Sensor Web Enablement framework , the Emergency Data Exchange Language , WaterML , Water Data Transfer Format and so on. Nevertheless, an effort is required to interpret sensor data encoded in heterogeneous schemas. For example, different terms are used to denote the same or overlapping concepts. The goal of my research is to develop a formal theory (a) to represent the relations between geographic occurrences and observed properties and (b) to apply the representation to reason about geographic occurrences and to handle semantic heterogeneities within the sensor data. Given the research goal, the research questions for this study are:

  • What are the basic entities required for representing geographic occurrences and how are they described with reference to the properties observed by sensors? Do measured properties suffice for describing the geographic occurrences?
  • How does an occurrence-oriented ontology enable reasoning about geographic occurrences over sensor observations?
  • Which semantic heterogeneities can be solved by an ontology representing the relations between geographic occurrences and sensor observations?